News / Saskatoon

Ritornello music fest fall series, highlights classical music in non-classical ways

The Ritornello Chamber Music Festival’s fall series, Ritornello Underground and Ritornello On Tap, uses laid back environments and a hip approach, hoping to expose more people to the varied sounds of classical music.

“Good riddance to hard church pews and golf clapping - this will be a raucous, good time,” said Jacqueline Woods, the festival’s artistic director, in an email.

Exploring all aspects of classical music, from more traditional to cabaret, the series features four concerts in venues not typical for classical music. Two concerts are in The Bassment while another two are at The Woods Ale House.

Musically together

Kicking off the series on Thursday, Woods will be playing a piano duo and piano duets with New York pianist Denise Fillion, at The Bassment.

The pair will play contemporary pieces, including composer George Crumb’s Celestial Mechanics, which has the pair playing one piano in unconventional ways.

Here is a sample, taken during rehearsal:

An event for everyone

“People lamented the decline of classical music, but the truth is that classical musicians are playing quite a lot lately – in movie and in video games. So more classical music in mainstream culture is starting to happen,” said Woods in an interview.

Woods said that people who come to the shows make classical music accessible to everyone and many often surprised when they realize that they like classical music.

“I think also many people have gone to traditional classical music presentations and felt uncomfortable…It’s a little stuffy. And this is not stuffy,” said Woods.

Where and When

Ritornello Underground


Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012

WARHOL DERVISH - An unorthodox chamber music collective

Thursday, Dec. 13, 2012

Ritornello On Tap


Friday, Oct. 26, 8 p.m.


Monday, Nov. 26, 8 p.m.

For ticket prices and information please see the website.

More on